Linebacker Lance Briggs has helped rookie linebacker Jonathan Bostic learn the ways of the NFL. Now Briggs can offer a suggestion on how to play a wide receiver so that Bostic doesn’t incur the $21,000 fine he drew for his hit on San Diego wide receiver Mike Willie.
“He could have allowed the receiver to run him over — that’s another technique,” Briggs deadpanned. “We could play the ‘catch’ technique, we could take a charge.”
And as far as where tacklers should aim, now that the head and other areas are off limits when a player is “defenseless?”
“The navel, and below,” Briggs advised. “There’s not a lot of area to hit when you’re playing at 100 miles an hour and you’re told to react right now. One thing that you do know is that you can’t hit in the head, neck, really in the chest area, so what does that leave left?”
Bostic will have to find that out in an NFL that used a video of the hit as a marketing highlight, yet fined the player (who wasn’t penalized) for the hit, which did dislodge the football.
Coaches told Bostic afterwards that he’d made a good play and he was in fact targeting the ballcarrier in a way he believed correct. Coach Marc Trestman said on Wednesday that he thought the play was a good one at the time.
Bostic and the Bears found out otherwise on Tuesday.
“Obviously it’s a bang-bang play,” Bostic said. “When we target the ballcarrier, it’s getting your head across, making sure you’re not on the back side so he can run through the tackle and keep your feet running.
“I’m just finding out about all of this stuff. I really haven’t even thought about it to tell you the truth. I’m going to focus on this week and the game plan.”
Panther’s hit on Mannelly drew $21,000 fine
Maybe it’s a case of understanding not quite catching up to the rules, but Carolina Panthers safety Colin Jones was handed a $21,000 fine last week for his Game 1 hit on Bears long-snapper Patrick Mannelly.
No one checked on the fine initially, presumably because it appeared to be the kind of hit that just happens when a player’s awareness slips. Mannelly suffered a fractured rib but said at the time that he should have had his head more on a swivel.
Now, on the heels of the $21,000 fine for Bostic hitting a “defenseless” wide receiver in the San Diego game, the definition is changing.
“[Jones] should get fined,” one Bears player told CSNChicago.com. “That was a blind-side hit on a punt, a ‘defenseless’ guy, if they want to call it that.”